Sacha Lord blasts Government's post-lockdown plans for hospitality sector

Sacha Lord, Greater Manchester's "night tsar" has reacted to the Government's proposals for the city region's hospitality industry when the UK lockdown ends in December.
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Sacha Lord, Night Time Economy Adviser for Greater Manchester, has commented on the proposed 'harder' tiering restrictions due to be announced today. The rules are set to include the continued closure of pubs, bars and restaurants in Tier 3 areas (with the exception of takeaway service).

Greater Manchester was placed under Tier 3 restrictions on October 23 prior to going into national lockdown.

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Commenting today, Sacha said the measures would "spell the end of the traditional British pub" and would have a devastating impact on communities.

Sacha's full statement:

"Today's announcements will spell the end of the traditional British pub as we know it and will have a devastating impact on communities.

"I have heard reports this morning that 94 per cent of pubs in Tier 3 areas will go under by Spring, and while this may seem excessive to some, it is no exaggeration.

"These places are the lifeblood of communities. A place to let off steam, to share wins and tragedies. They provide places of comfort, laughter, friendship and socialisation for many, not just for the elderly, but for the disadvantaged. To kill these vital social spaces with these hardline measures, backed by little scientific evidence, will be a devastating blow to the very fabric of British culture.

Sacha LordSacha Lord
Sacha Lord
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"It is clear that the ever increasing debt from rents, rates and bills will be too much for the majority, especially the independent operators which cannot lean on parent companies.

"Operators across Greater Manchester and the UK have spent several millions on making their venues covid-secure, following the Government's own guidelines, and I can only view these new regulations as a knife in the back and to the heart of the sector.

"Operators now face business ruin and the finalisation of redundancy procedures, and for a sector where 21% of full time workers and 53 per cent of part time workers are already paid under Living Wage*, many workers now face an increased risk of poverty.

"For those who used to go to their locals for a pint after work, to see friends or to watch football, these moves will only serve to increase severe loneliness and isolation.

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"For regulations which are supposedly built on keeping people safe, I am certain these moves will not only encourage people to gather in their own homes, but will also increase the likelihood of illegal parties or raves. It is once again a move that will do more harm than good.

"On Thursday, the Government will vote on these proposed measures. We urge MPs on both sides to do the right thing and vote against the destruction of the nation's most loved sector."

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